Battle of Ain Dara

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The Battle of Ain Dara took place in the town of Ain Dara in 1711 between the Qaysi (the victor) and Yemeni Druze.


Traditionally, two socio-political branches that existed in Mount Lebanon region, had their roots in old Arab origins. The Yemeni faction consisted of families tracing their ancestry back to tribes originating from Yemen; the Qaysis comprised families tracing their roots back to northern Arabian tribes. This division cut across religions and sects as the political system at the time relied more heavily on family connection, loyalties and class status than on sectarian affiliation. Yemenis were led by the Alameddine and Arslan families and the Qaysis by the Maan and Chehab families. The Qaysi-Yemeni division continued through 1,100 years of conflict in Tunisia, Sicily and Spain, , and in Lebanon it climaxed in the Battle of Ayn Dara in 1711.

In 1711, the Qaysis rallied behind the young Emir Haidar Chehab, and launched a surprise attack on the Yemenis, who were waiting for reinforcements from the Ottoman governor of Damascus and the governor of Akka. The Qaysis were victorious and the Yemeni faction ceased to exist as a political force. Many of the Yemeni families and clans relocated to Jabal ad-Duruz, in the Hauran region of present-day Syria.

After the victory of Ain Dara , Emir Haidar re-organized the feudal system and distributed land and governance responsibilities among the leading Qaysi families.

For a full and detailed analysis of the Battle of Ain Dara , the following references are useful:

1. A short history of Lebanon Hardcover – January 1, 1965 by Philip Khuri Hitti (Author)

2. A Modern History of Lebanon, by Kamal Salibi

3. Politics and Change in a Traditional Society, Lebanon 1711-1845 , by Iliya Harik 1968

The battle of Ayn Dara and the role of Harfush's emir[edit]

The Harfushes appear to have been back in control of Baalbek by 1702, when local accounts indicate that a Christian shaykh of ‘Aqura in Mt Lebanon entered emir Husayn’s (Harfush) service as yazıcı, or secretary, on account of his Turkish skills. In 1711, French consular reports suggest, Husayn Harfush gave shelter to Haydar Shihabi and then supplied 2,500 troops to help him wipe out his Druze rivals at ‘Ayn Dara and establish himself as sole emir of the Shuf . curiously not addressed in H. A. al-Shihabi or any other chronicles of the period.[1]

And professor Winter said in his Doctoral thesis: [2] "The Harfushes do not seem to have joined the Hamadas who had already been at war with the vali of Tripoli for nearly a year. Instead, they gave the emir Haydar al-Shihabi refuge when it became clear that the state intended to replace him with a rival Druze household, and provided 2500 troops to enable him to crush his enemies and establish the Shihabi as the sole tribal ruler ship of Sidon."


See also[edit]


  1. ^ • Stefan Winter (11 March 2010). The Shiites of Lebanon under Ottoman Rule, 1516–1788. Cambridge University Press, Page 148.


  • Almaqhafi, Awwad: Qabayl Wa Biton Al-Arab
  • Almsaodi, Abdulaziz: Tarikh Qabayl Al-Arab